....There is abundant evidence that the CPP attempts to influence Taiwan’s domestic political scene. The DPP recently provided some evidence to support their suspicion of the CCP’s interference in order to help President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) be re-elected. DPP spokesperson, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) outlined five tactics which China had adopted to ensure Taiwan’s elections would result in President Ma’s re-election. These include sending provincial-level purchasing delegations to boost economic performance, providing incentives to mobilize Taiwanese businesspeople in China to return to Taiwan to vote, allowing the assembly of Taiwanese businesspeople to campaign for President Ma, bribing some particular legislators to influence Taiwan’s policy-making, and hindering other presidential candidates from obtaining political donations from Taiwanese entrepreneurs who are active in China through direct or indirect threats....
- Hsaio Bi-khim speaking at Columbia: videos courtesy of Mike Fu and report from the redoubtable Julia Famularo
- Finally, Dr Sullivan hisownself blogs on Ma and Ai weiwei.
Tsai, 55, a former vice-premier who holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and is the first female candidate for top office in any modern Chinese state, vowed to scrap nuclear power altogether. "The KMT is playing catch-up. When they ruled for over 50 years they didn't pay any attention to these issues. But Ma is seeing how useful they can be, come election time," says DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien. "But it isn't just the votes. A stamp of approval from these groups is highly beneficial for the image of either party or candidate."Great as far as it goes, especially giving Tsai her LSE props, but unfortunately the reporting on Ma contains omissions:
Ma has already done substantially more for social causes than his KMT predecessors, who were driven by the need to prop up the economy's GDP and export growth numbers. In June, he ordered the closure of much of a Formosa Plastics Group petrochemical plant after a series of highly toxic fires broke out. The fires happened after protests against the plant and a report that found that cancer rates in the local community were five times higher than the national average.The Yunlin County government shut down the Formosa Plastics Plant (China Post article from June 2) back in May (my post) before Ma decided to jump on the bandwagon. Further, the report should have noted that the KMT government then struggled to find another place for the Kuokuang project, or to resurrect it in smaller form. As Max the Miracle Worker observed:
In April, he announced that a long-planned proposal to build another petrochemical plant, the $21bn Kuokuang complex on Taiwan's west coast, would not go ahead after environmentalists complained that it would destroy the island's largest wetlands, home to the critically endangered Taiwanese pink dolphin. "For us, the decision to stop Kuokuang going ahead was one of the biggest in recent years. Before that the DPP was supposedly the environmentalist party. However, President Ma realises that today's context is very different and we need to strike a balance between social and economic development," says KMT spokesman Yin Wei.
"There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Now, mostly dead is slightly alive. Now, all dead... well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do.Election polling: the rabidly pro-KMT UDN has Ma up on Tsai by six, 41-35, with Soong at 10. Meanwhile the prediction market, Tsai is flirting with 51, and Ma has fallen to 36. That's a measurement of who everyone thinks will win, not by how much they will win.
Election observers: It was reported a few weeks ago that the election observers from abroad, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs junket tradition for every previous election, will not be paid for by MOFA this year. The group of European academics just passed around word that their observers have been cancelled by MOFA. They said they had received no explanation from MOFA.
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